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How to make your interview process autism-friendly

Check out our tips on how you can make your interview process autism-friendly.

Educate yourself and your team members

Before you make your interview process autism-friendly you must learn more about autism so you can give candidates the best possible chance of getting the job. As a Hiring Manager, you should educate yourself on autistic behaviours and be mindful during the interview process.

For example, if a candidate doesn’t make eye contact with you, don’t judge them harshly. Interviews can be nerve-racking. Instead, give them time to settle in and get familiar with their surroundings.

Take a close look at your job ad

Often those with autism will read requirements literally. Taking this into consideration you should look at how you have worded your specific specifications.

For example, instead of listing requirements such as:

  • Be an excellent team player.
  • Have outstanding time management skills.
  • You must have unquestionable communication skills.

You could word your requirements like so:

  • Experience working in a DevOps environment.
  • Interest in working on various innovative projects for top brands.

Prepare your interviewees

Preparing your candidates can help relax them and make them feel more at ease. A way to do this is to give a clear outline of your recruitment process.

This might include:

  • A deadline for applications on your job advert with proposed dates for interviewing.
  • Send prospective candidates the interview agenda.
  • Tell them who will be attending the interview and their role within the company.
  • If you are having an in-person interview, give your candidates clear directions on how to get to the destination.
  • If you are having a virtual interview, send a Zoom link with a calendar invite.

Create a relaxed environment

Creating a welcoming environment is essential as interviews themselves can be quite daunting. You can create a relaxed environment by giving a tour of your workplace in advance, providing interview questions beforehand, and choosing a meeting space that has limited sensory triggers.

Sensory triggers you should be aware of are things like, flickering lights, noise from a heater, and any other potential distractions. Candidates should know what to expect in advance.

On the day, make sure you ask your candidate if they need anything such as a pen, paper, or a glass of water and ask them to make themselves comfortable.

Think about how your questions are worded

Interview questions can be taken literally, so it is important to think about how your interview questions have been worded. Make sure you give plenty of time to the candidate to think about their answer. If the candidate is struggling with the question, try to ask the question in another way.

You might even want to give the candidate the questions in advance so that they have time to fully prepare for the interview. An organisation would have to make this reasonable adjustment if asked under the Autism Act.

Pay attention to body language

If you have a sense that your candidate is feeling overwhelmed, pay attention to their body language and adjust your approach. Consider a different line of questioning to try and keep the person calm. For example, you could ask about their hobbies and interests.

Here at S-SA Digital, we are proud to be a Disability Confident Committed Employer. If you would like more tips on how to make your interview process autism-friendly, get in touch with us today.

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S-SA Digital Recruitment

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01604 201030

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